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Sun, sand, music and more at 78th Northwest Water Carnival

DL Jaycee Kyle Imholte, left, shoots fellow Jaycee and opposing team leader John Pratt after Pratt’s Jaycee team beat Imholte’s in the annual Water Carnival water fights Friday night in the city park. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE1 / 9
A panoramic view of the Detroit Lakes City Beach by moonlight, during Saturday night’s Bash on the Beach. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE2 / 9
Kids scramble to grab up the candy along West Lake Drive during Sunday’s Parade of the Northwest. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE3 / 9
Mary Beth Okeson serves up a hot bowl of Tee It Up Chili to Kathy Michaelson, left, using her golf club ladle during the Water Carnival Chili Cook-off on the city beach Saturday afternoon. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE4 / 9
A motorcade of classic cars began the 2013 Parade of the Northwest Sunday afternoon. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE5 / 9
Dancers from Center Stage Dance Academy leap through the air during Sunday’s annual Parade of the Northwest. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE6 / 9
Members of the Detroit Lakes Jaycees shoot the Parade of the Northwest crowd with water at the end of Sunday’s parade in Detroit Lakes. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE7 / 9
Saturday night’s Bash on the Beach featuring a performance by country superstar John Michael Montgomery. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE8 / 9
Bean bags were flying during the annual Water Carnival bean bag tournament on the beach Saturday afternoon. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE9 / 9

With sunny skies throughout most of the 78th Northwest Water Carnival, Admiral Matt Boeke summed up the event by saying simply, “All in all, it was a great 10 days.”

The events of the water carnival’s final weekend were all “well attended,” Boeke added —even Friday night’s water fights and Party in the Park, despite the rain showers that forced the festivities to be temporarily relocated inside the DL Pavilion.

“Tim Eggebraaten saved us,” Boeke said. “He put on a quick show for us in the Pavilion and 20 minutes later, we proceeded with the start of the water fights.

“Halfway through the water fights, the sun came out and it ended up being a great evening,” he added.

The “Dance Dads” team, which as the name suggests, was comprised entirely of the Center Stage Dance Academy students’ fathers, took top honors in the water fights, Boeke said.

The sun returned for the water carnival’s “Big Saturday,” which included the annual Chili & Salsa Cookoff, bean bag, sand volleyball and softball tournaments, motorcycle parade, classic car show, and a plethora of other activities, all leading up to the evening’s second annual Bash on the Beach — featuring a live concert by country superstar John Michael Montgomery.

The chili cookoff included 12 competing teams, with the Parkers’ “Green Chili” recipe taking top honors. Second place went to Adam Price’s team with their “Chuck Norris Oatmeal,” which also earned the “Rick’s Choice” and “Gastro Blaster” awards. The top salsa was the Lakes Area Parrot Heads’ “Mexican Fiesta Salsa.”

Whatever was in those pots must have been mighty tasty this year, because “we sold 1,500 bowls of chili,” Boeke added.

The John Michael Montgomery concert was also very well attended, he noted, and Montgomery “gave an awesome show.”

Saturday’s good vibrations continued through to Sunday, when the Parade of the Northwest enjoyed “excellent weather,” said Boeke.

“We didn’t have to worry about heat stroke, but it was still comfortable for all the spectators,” he added.

Of course, the end of the 78th annual event also means that Boeke and his wife Amy will be passing on their admirals’ caps to the 2014 co-admirals, Nick Omberg and Tom Winters.

“Thanks to all the Jaycees and local businesses for supporting the 78th annual Northwest Water Carnival and making it such a success,” Boeke said. “We’re looking forward to an even bigger and better 79th in 2014.”

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454